Recent MLB Player News

Austin Jackson signs 2-year deal with San Francisco

The San Francisco Giants have signed former Cleveland Indians outfielder Austin Jackson to a 2-year-deal, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

What It Means:

Jackson is expected to serve as outfield depth and possibly the primary starting center fielder for the Giants next season. San Francisco is Jackson's sixth team in the last six seasons.

The outfielder batted .318 with 7 homers, 35 RBI, and a .378 wOBA in 318 plate appearances in 2017.

Dejounte Murray listed as a starter on Sunday as Spurs face Pacers

San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray is listed as a starter for Sunday's game versus the Indiana Pacers.

What It Means:

Murray looks to play in place of Tony Parker, who apparently getting a rest on Sunday. This would be Murray's 15th start of the season.

Our models projected Murray for 13.2 FanDuel points in 14.7 minutes but expect a bit more if he does indeed start on Sunday.

Blue Jays acquire Randal Grichuk in trade with Cardinals

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the St. Louis Cardinals.

What It Means:

In exchange for Grichuk, the Cardinals receive right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone and Conner Greene. Leone has bounced around a little, but he's expected to stick in a middle relief role with St. Louis. Greene owns a good fastball, but he's dealt with control issues at the Double-A level. As for Grichuk, he's seen a drop in batting average since first playing full-time in 2015.

In 2017, Grichuk hit .238 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 122 games. He's under team control through 2020.

Red Sox offer J.D. Martinez five-year, $100 million deal

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Boston Red Sox have offered free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez a five-year, $100 million contract.

What It Means:

Previous reports said that the Red Sox were holding out for Martinez and that they had offered him a five-year deal. Olney now has the numbers, which are nowhere near the seven-year, $180-210 million deal Martinez and agent Scott Boras are looking for. The 30-year-old could remain on the market into spring training.

Between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks a year ago, Martinez bombed 45 home runs and drove in 104 RBI in 119 games. His .430 wOBA represented a career-high through 7 seasons.

Christian Yelich's relationship with Marlins 'irrevocably broken'

The agent for Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich said that his client's relationship with the team is "irrevocably broken."

What It Means:

Yelich's agent, Joe Longo, added that his client "needs to get on with his career." He also cited a culture change with Miami while pushing the 26-year-old's trade request to a trade demand. So far, Miami's asking price has been too high for teams like the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, among others.

In his last two seasons, Yelich has played 155 and 156 games while hitting at least 18 home runs and tallying 81 or more RBIs in each. He's under team control until 2023.

Source: ESPN

Giants' Hunter Pence will move to left field in 2018

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence will move from right to left field for the upcoming 2018 season.

What It Means:

Bruce Bochy has reportedly told Pence of the move. This comes after trading for Andrew McCutchen, who will make a move of his own from centerfield to right field in his new home. Gorkys Hernandez or Steven Duggar are possibilities in center, but the team's entertaining the idea of adding Jarrod Dyson or Lorenzo Cain in free agency. Management has said that they'd like Duggar to at least start in the minors this season.

In his time with the Giants, Pence hasn't played a single inning in left field. In fact, he's only played a single inning in center, compared to more than 5,000 innings in right.

Andrew McCutchen to play right field following trade to Giants

San Francisco Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen will play right field after being traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

What It Means:

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea, manager Bruce Bochy announced his decision. Hunter Pence will move to left field with Gorkys Hernandez the candidate to start in center. The team's also looking at free agents Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain to possibly fill that spot.

In 9 years with the Pirates, McCutchen played the majority of his games in center. He did, however, slide to right field 13 times in 2017.

Josh Harrison prefers trade if Pirates aren't looking to compete

In a statement on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison said he would prefer to be traded if the team doesn't expect to contend for a championship in 2018 or 2019.

What It Means:

Over the last few days, the Pirates have traded starting pitcher Gerrit Cole as well as centerfielder and face-of-the-franchise Andrew McCutchen. Harrison could actually be the next one on the block, but the 30-year-old has added him own voice to those reports now. He's under club control until 2020 and is owed over $10.5 million per season over the next three years. There a few teams already showing interest in trading for Harrison's services.

Last season, Harrison slashed .272/.339/.432 with a career-high 16 home runs and 47 RBI. He also added 12 stolen bases in 128 games.

Report: Giants acquire Andrew McCutchen from Pirates

The San Francisco Giants have agreed to acquire outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates, pending a review of medical records, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Reports surfaced earlier in the day that the two sides were approaching a deal, and now it appears that it is complete. There is no word on the players being exchanged for McCutchen, but it's been a tough week for Pirates fans after the trade of Gerrit Cole last week.

McCutchen averaged 11.1 FanDuel points per game in 2017 over 650 plate appearances.

Astros officially acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates

The Houston Astros have acquired starting pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

What It Means:

The two teams had reportedly closed in on a deal earlier this week, but nothing materialized. Cole will now enter the Astros' rotation as a top-4 starter. In return, the Pirates receive starter Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, reliever Michael Feliz and minor league outfielder Jason Martin.

In 26 games, Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 2017. He holds a career ERA of 3.50 through 5 MLB seasons.

Padres, Brad Hand agree to three-year extension

The San Diego Padres have agreed to a three-year extension with relief pitcher Brad Hand, reports The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

What It Means:

The deal is believed to be in the $18-20 million range with a club option for a fourth year. It covers two years of arbitration and one that would have seen Hand head into free agency. He assumed the Padres' closer role midway through the year and will look to do the same as he heads in to the 2018 season.

In 2017, Hand finished the year 3-4 with 21 saves, 104 strikeouts and a 2.16 ERA in 79 1/3 innings.

Twins sign Addison Reed to two-year deal

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, he Minnesota Twins have signed reliever Addison Reed to a two-year deal worth $16.75 million.

What It Means:

The deal is pending a physical. Reed pitched for both the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox in 2017. He'll be a late-inning guy with the chance to get a few saves alongside Fernando Rodney.

Over 76 innings, Reed went 2-3 with 19 saves, 76 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA a season ago.

Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson receives record $23 million to avoid arbitration

According to SportsNet's Shi Davidi, the Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson have agreed to a one-year, $23 million deal to avoid going to arbitration.

What It Means:

For an arbitration-eligible player, Donaldson's $23 million sets a MLB record. Not signing the 32-year-old to a long-term extension will allow him to walk in free agency this winter. He should, however, remain a top of trade talks as the season progresses.

In 113 games a year ago, Donaldson hit .270 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI and a .403 wOBA.

Jay Bruce back with Mets on three-year deal

According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, free agent outfielder Jay Bruce has signed with the New York Mets on a three-year deal

What It Means:

Additional reports have the deal as a three-year, $39 million contract, pending a physical. Bruce will be due just $10 million in 2018 with $14.5 million per year over the last two seasons. The Mets are expected to ask him to play first base in addition to his usual corner outfield position. Bruce returns to New York after being traded from the Mets less than a year ago.

In 146 games across 2 teams, Bruce hit 36 home runs and ended the 2017 season with 101 RBI and a .350 wOBA.

Update: 'No deal' between Astros and Pirates on Gerrit Cole

Per Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, there is "no deal" in place for Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole to be traded to the Houston Astros.

What It Means:

Passan is reporting that is is a "false rumor." He does say that things could pick back up quickly and a deal could get done between the two teams. There haven't been any indications as to the return the Pirates are looking for from Houston.

In 5 years with the Pirates, Cole has gone 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA and 3.27 FIP in 127 career starts.

Report: Astros land Gerrit Cole in trade with Pirates

The Houston Astros are acquiring pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates, reports MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

What It Means:

The Pirates have been shopping Cole over the winter and the Astros needed starting pitching. While there's nothing official on the return, big-time pitching prospect Forrest Whitley is expected to be left out of the deal. Derek Fisher -- who appeared in the majors a year ago -- could be included. Cole has an unsolved arbitration case and the deadline for filing that number is Friday.

In 2017, Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 203 innings.

Blue Jays acquire Yangervis Solarte from Padres

According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired third/first baseman Yangervis Solarte in a trade with the San Diego Padres.

What It Means:

There aren't any details on the trade at this time, but they're sure to eek out over the course of the next 24 hours. This isn't all that surprising as Solarte's been on the block all winter. The 30-year-old infielder is due $4 million in 2018 and has additional contract options for 2019 and 2020.

In 128 games, Solarte hit for 18 home runs, 64 RBI and a .317 wOBA over 512 plate appearances in 2017.

Orioles say Manny Machado is 'staying put for now'

Orioles sources tell Bob Nightengale of USA Today that Manny Machado is "staying put for now" unless some team "drastically changes their offer."

What It Means:

The O's have been shopping Machado, who is set to become a free agent at the end of 2018, all winter. The Cubs, White Sox and Yankees have all been connected to the start infielder.

Machado averaged 10.8 FanDuel points per game in 2017.

Giants acquire Evan Longoria in five-player deal with Rays

The San Francisco Giants have acquired third baseman Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays.

What It Means:

The Rays get back third baseman Christian Arroyo, outfielder Denard Span, and pitchers Matt Krook and Stephen Woods. Longoria is going back to his native California, which could help jumpstart the 32 year-old veteran's average at the plate. The Rays are expected to eat some of the $68 million still owed to Longoria as part of the deal.

Longoria had a .261/.313/.424 slash line in 2017, with 20 home runs, 86 RBI, and 71 runs scored over 613 at bats.

Orioles' Zach Britton ruptures Achilles Tuesday, expected to miss at least six months

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Zach Britton ruptured his Achilles in a workout on Tuesday, and he is expected to miss at least six months.

What It Means:

This is a huge blow to the back end of the O's bullpen, as well as the team's leverage in a couple of trade scenarios. Britton probably won't be able to return until the second half of the regular season and right now it's unclear who the Orioles will turn to in the ninth inning.

Over 38 appearances in 2017, Britton posted a 2.89 ERA, 3.48 xFIP, and a strike out rate of 18.0%.

Stephen Piscotty traded from Cardinals to Athletics in exchange for minor leaguers

St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty has been traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Max Schrock.

What It Means:

Piscotty will now be closer to his hometown where his mother is struggling with ALS and the Cardinals get a couple young players in return. He also missed time due to injuries last season, playing in a total of 107 games.

In 2017, Piscotty had 80 hits with 9 home runs and 39 RBI, with a .235 average over 341 plate appearances.

Source: ESPN

Marlins 'intend to hold onto' Christian Yelich

According to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, the belief is that the Miami Marlins will retain, not trade, outfielder Christian Yelich.

What It Means:

Miami has already unloaded outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. But, by shedding their financial obligations, the Marlins believe that they've opened up enough space to hold the 26-year-old Yelich. After all, he's set to make just $7 million and $9.25 million over the next two seasons.

Over 156 games, Yelich hit .282 with 18 home runs, 81 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 2017.

Update: Angels officially acquire Ian Kinsler

The Los Angeles Angels have officially acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler, report The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

What It Means:

As the Angels land a new second baseman, the Detroit Tigers will receive two prospects in return. They get right-handed pitcher Wilkel Hernandez and outfielder Troy Montgomery. Both are ranked in the top-30 of LA's pipeline. Kinsler has an $11 million vesting option for 2018.

In 2017, Kinsler's -0.19 nERD was his first negative season and far from his 1.83 mark in 2016. He still managed a .725 OPS, 90 runs and 14 stolen bases.

Angels to acquire four-time All-Star Ian Kinsler from Tigers

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Angels will acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.

What It Means:

The deal isn't officially done quite yet. ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that there is a delay as a result of Kinsler's partial no-trade clause. The Angels are part of the infielder's 10-team list, but it sure seems like the two parties will join forces in due time. There's no further details on the trade, but expect the rebuilding Tigers to get prospects in return.

The 35-year-old Kinsler racked up 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 139 games a year ago. His .236 average was far below his career-average, but Kinsler could get back on track in a revamped Angels lineup.

Cardinals acquiring Marlins' Marcell Ozuna

The St. Louis Cardinals are set to acquire Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, according to Sirius XM's Craig Mish.

What It Means:

Others have confirmed the deal, which has been in the works over the last 48 hours or so. It's likely that the Marlins will get back some young pitching and other prospects. It's the second star outfielder that the Marlins have unloaded after sending Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees just a few days ago.

With a 2.87 nERD this season, Ozuna ranked as the 31st-best player in our final power rankings. He hit 37 home runs with 124 RBI and a .393 wOBA over 159 games in 2017.

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